Just before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding, some big news came out about who would do the honors of walking the bride down the aisle. Earlier this week, it was announced that Thomas Markle would be unable to attend the royal wedding on account of his having heart surgery on May 16. In an interview with TMZ published Friday, May 18, Meghan Markle's dad responded to news that Prince Charles would be performing the task in his place, and his words are nothing shy of heartwarming.
According to TMZ, Thomas Markle, the father of the American actress, said that he was "honored and grateful" that the Prince of Wales would be escorting Meghan down the aisle on the wedding day. The wedding will take place on Saturday, May 19 at the St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Some had speculated that Markle's Suits co-star Patrick J. Adams would be the chosen man for the job, or perhaps her mother, Doria Ragland. But in the end, the bride-to-be chose her future father-in-law to do the honors.
TMZ reports that Thomas Markle wasn't surprised by his daughter's choice and had no reservations about it, adding that he gave his blessing for the decision. It's worth noting that the bride won't be escorted for the entirety of the procession. As the palace writes, Prince Charles will join the bride only during the last portion of the walk, from the Quire to the altar. In fact, Markle is doing her own thing, making a statement by choosing not to be accompanied during the majority of the walk down the aisle.
In a statement, Meghan announced via Kensington Palace Thursday that her father would be absent on her big day:
Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special with you on Saturday.
Shortly after dropping that bombshell on the world, Kensington Palace gave us another update on via Twitter on Thursday regarding who would be performing the father-of-the-bride duties on Saturday.
In its statement, the palace conveyed that Prince Charles was happy to do the honors:
Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.
That Charles stepped in to fill the role was a big deal, prompting an array of reactions about the news on social media.
Some were positive towards the news that Prince Charles would be giving Meghan away.
Others, however, were sour to the idea that Markle wouldn't be given away by her mother.
In any case, there was some agreement that Meghan's actual father wouldn't be the right choice to do the honors, heart surgery or not.
Thomas Markle has brought on his fair share of drama for the couple this month. On May 12, The Daily Mail revealed that he had reportedly been in cahoots with the paparazzi to stage photos of himself leading up to the wedding despite the wishes of the British royal family to keep the photographers out of it and respect their privacy. (A previous request made by Elite Daily to Kensington Palace for comment on the photo report was not returned at the time of publication.)
Reportedly feeling embarrassed by the incident, he had apparently made the decision to not attend the wedding, though he shared no official comment on that report. TMZ reports he'd had a change of heart following a conversation with his daughter after his surgery, but in the end, was not able to make the trip.